Writing a full-on love letter might seem daunting in the era of bite-sized blog posts, quick Instagram captions, and 140-character summaries of world events. Additionally, you’ll need to convey your emotions, both directly and stylistically, by using (hopefully) correct spelling and grammar, as well as if you’re following therapists’ suggestions, legible handwriting. Nevertheless, by learning how to start a love letter, you will be better prepared to see it through, which stands to significantly improve the intimacy between you and your beloved.
In spite of the opposite and destructive narrative that says we shouldn’t be vulnerable and shouldn’t express our emotions, “writing a love letter requires initiative and intention,” says psychotherapist Genesis Games, LMHC. In other words, this is expressing your feelings and putting yourself out there.” And because writing a love letter entails this extra effort and risk, it will have that much more meaning in the eyes of the recipient.
The person you are writing the love letter to will have a large impact on how you begin. Games says that if you are writing to a crush, you might find the process more nerve-wracking because you have no history or proof that your crush feels the same way about you.
Relationship expert Jess Carbino, PhD, says keeping your note relatively brief can be helpful if you have a lot of uncertainty about how your crush feels. Rather than expressing your interest in the letter at length, you should use it as a mechanism for asking the person out, so that you can share your feelings in person.
Relationship experts explain why you should write a love letter:
For anyone in love with you, a love letter offers the feeling of clear intentionality (if they think the same thing about you). In her words, “It’s not just about playing games, sending mixed signals, or playing around with your feelings,” Games says.
Intimacy is built through seemingly small gestures, such as writing a love letter. – Donna Oriowo, PhD
In a sense, this is also true for sending a love letter to your partner, spouse, or someone you know reciprocates your feelings. Donna Oriowo, PhD, a sex and relationship therapist, says it’s a small gesture that can build intimacy. “The longer you’re in a relationship with someone, the more challenging it can be to maintain that feeling of being seen and appreciated, and a love letter can help you do just that.”
In addition, sitting down to write your thoughts can help you find clarity and communicate your emotions more effectively- particularly if your relationship with a loved one has been strained, or if you’re writing a love letter to reconnect. Dr. Carbino says it can be challenging to articulate ourselves clearly during face-to-face conversations when we’re anxious or feeling overwhelmed. “Writing a letter, however, gives you time to metabolize your feelings and gives your partner the chance to do the same.”
A love letter should begin with:
Consider those pieces of writing that have influenced your heart on a romantic level, and shift your mindset accordingly. It doesn’t matter whether your love story is like a Nicholas Sparks novel or more like a classic When Harry Met Sally, choose books, movies, plays, and poems that evoke emotion in you .
You’ll set the mood for your letter at the beginning when you’re ready to begin writing. So, it’s wise to start off with a greeting that reads as genuine as your intentions-and not just the straightforward “Dear [insert name here],” which could come across as stuffy rather than sincere. In that vein, here are a few examples of how to begin a love letter:
- Dearest love of my life…
- Love to you, my dear [name]…
- The best love I’ve ever known…
- Dearest soul mate…
- With all my heart…
Dr. Oriowo says you should close your eyes and visualize the person to whom you’re writing and what you love most about them-and write down what comes to mind naturally. If thinking about them makes you smile, let them know. Dr. Oriowo says that if you feel giddy, or if you feel butterflies in your stomach, or if you feel tingling all over and long to see them, then write it down.
This mental exercise will ensure that you express yourself clearly and honestly (which is perhaps the most important part of this endeavor), and it will also help your recipient understand exactly what you are feeling. Also, visualization helps you discover creative ways to describe yourself and the significance of your love story.
3.These are the qualities of a good love letter:
As unique as the love you feel for the subject of your letter is, the words you use to express it should also be. According to Games, while you might draw inspiration from artistic works of love that have touched you in the past, the words you write should come from a place of sincere meaning. You will succeed in landing your letter if you describe your feelings in descriptive terms that resonate with you.
It’s worth noting, however, that if the word ‘love’ itself seems a bit strong for the way you feel about someone, you can write a letter of admiration or adoration, expressing your feelings honestly and without using the word.
For the first time, if this is going to be your first time writing a letter to this person – or if you have a crush on them that knows nothing about you – you may benefit by outlining your reasoning for writing the letter in the first place. It is also advisable to avoid projecting your intentions into the future in the case of the latter. Games says that this letter is meant to communicate how you feel at this exact moment, not 10 years hence.
If the person you are writing to is unfamiliar with your feelings, or if they have not granted permission for you to write a sex love letter, you should not use sexual references in your love letter, according to Dr. Oriowo.
When you overuse a thesaurus, you will likely muddle what you’re trying to communicate, making your letter, at best, inauthentic, and at worst, impossible to understand. “A love letter is not necessarily the time to prove your linguistic prowess, so there’s no reason to include $10 words,” says Dr. Oriowo. “Start by saying what you mean simply, and then you can go back and add some stylistic elements to your final draft—so long as it’s still highly understandable.”
While drafting your love letter (from start to finish), make sure to build in drafting time for thinking, processing, writing, re-reading, editing, and editing again. There’s a good chance your loved one will be moved by the words you say, especially if you state what you mean clearly and simply.
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